Original leaf from a 15th century Gregorian chant. This illuminated medieval musical sheet was executed by hand in manuscript calligraphy on animal parchment. (610 x 430mm – 23 ½ x 16 ¾’’)
The music and text (six lines written in rounded gothic script) are written in black ink, on a five-line-stave, with headings and rubrics in red. Spain: Seville, c. 1460-90.
This striking leaf is related to a series of Choirbooks attributed to the Master of the Cypresses who illuminated twenty Choirbooks preserved in the Cathedral of Seville. Once thought to be Pedro da Toledo, he is now identified as Nicolás Gómez – active 1460-90.
Two highly illuminated initials extend the length of the five-line stave and are in burnished gold with and interior floral motif on red or blue ground, resting on an outer rectangular blue or red ground with a delicate floral motif; one extends into the margin in an elegant rinceaux-style border of vines adorned with gold bezants! One knot-work initial extending the length of the five- line-stave and heightened with yellow.
The knot-work “G” begins Psalm 111 (King James 112) 3: “Gloria et…” (Glory and wealth shall be in his house: and his justice remaineth forever and ever).
The illuminated “I” begins Psalm 88 (KJ 89) 21-22: “Inveni…” (I have found David my servant: with my holy oil I have anointed him. For my hand shall help him: and my arm shall strengthen him).
The illuminated “D” begins part of Matthew 25:20: “Domine…” (Lord, thou didst deliver to me five talents…).